Cowl Cave

29 Apr 2019 11:05 #74957 by Macc
Replied by Macc on topic Cowl Cave
I don't remember a path but I do remember a mightly slog up Cowl Pass. As I recall you pretty much just keeping going straight up the valley above KBC on the easiest terrain and you'll see an obviously large boulder. Stay to the right of this and keep heading up. Leave your river crossing nice and late and then it is simple, if you are climbing through bushes you crossed to early.

"The three rules of mountaineering: It’s always further, taller and harder than it looks."
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30 Apr 2019 12:01 #74963 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Cowl Cave
Dave, I can partly answer your question.

My answer relates to a path up to Moncs Cowl.

Er, no, no real path, just bushwacking. I'm referring to the pass between Cathkin and Moncs Cowl, NOT Moncs Cowl and Champagne Castle.
However, while no path the terrain isn't terribly difficult. Fairly high grasses and rocks all over the place, so you are in for a lot of high steps.
My approach was to stay to the right as far as possible. Here there were less rocks lying around and the steps were mostly smaller, and the ground more level.

All in all a lekker climb but note there is no water at the top or anywhere on route. Last water I found (April 2018) was basically at KBC. I first tried crossing the stream higher but it was bone dry, so had to walk quite far down through the overgrowth in the riverbed to find water.


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06 May 2019 21:50 #74996 by Dave
Replied by Dave on topic Cowl Cave
First, to clarify the confusion about Cowl Cave being closed: As per the notice below (correctly spelled), there is in fact a Cow Cave somewhere down in the Sterkspruit Valley on private property. The rock art has been vandalized and there has been cattle theft, so the cave is now closed.

I did not in the end make it to Cowl Cave, as my hiking partner was not feeling well, but here are some more pics of the traverse from the Cathkin-Cowl nek to the Champagne-Cowl gully. You start on this ledge:

It looks exposed from below, but the exposure isn't that bad:

The corner gives an awesome view down the south side of the pass:

It is on the section into the Champagne-Cowl gully that the exposure gets quite severe. As always, photos can't really give a sense of it, but the drop to the left is massive and a fall here would probably be fatal.

In wet weather or snow, I would regard this traverse as highly risky, but in good weather, as above, it just requires care.

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